If a first impression had prevailed, Rebuilding Hope wouldn’t have the services of veteran volunteer Walt Slaton.
Walt got involved with RHI in 2010 after retiring and moving to Oxford.
“I was looking for a place where I could contribute,” Walt explains. “I first visited the old Rebuilding Hope location to talk with Randolph. He wasn’t in, but I spoke with older gentlemen.
“After talking with them I returned home and told my wife that was not for me. All that was happening was two older men sitting around talking, and I wasn’t interested in doing that. Strange, I now do some of that as well.”
But, Walt says, he took another look after talking with both Randolph and an RHI volunteer.
“That caused me to take another look, and I have been coming to Rebuilding Hope ever since.”
The Georgia native’s volunteer service at RHI has included putting on shingles, building ramps and porches and home repairs.
“I now volunteer as the treasurer, board member and materials coordinator for SOS projects.”
Volunteering is rewarding, says Walt, a member of Central Baptist Church and a Baptist preacher’s son.
“I think the most rewarding part is the knowledge that the work we do is helping others and sharing the love of Christ with the community.
“It is special when a job is completed and the homeowner hugs your neck and thanks you. They had nowhere else to turn, and we solved a big problem for them.”
Walt encourages others to volunteer at RHI “so they can be a part of sharing the gospel and helping others in a way that lots of people won’t and can’t.
“Sometimes it seems we spin our wheels, but we look back and see the Lord working through our efforts.”
Walt was an engineer and held staff positions in headquarters and in management when he retired from IBM after 31 years.
At his church, Walt teaches Sunday school, sings in the choir and serves as a deacon.
“Church and Rebuilding Hope seem to be almost a fulltime job,” he says.
He and Diane have been married 49 years and have two sons and three grandchildren.
Walt’s leisure time is spent doing “honey-do” tasks, traveling and playing golf.